I’m going to jump right in today because we have three great stories, an A+ illustration about pockets by Rachel Deutsch, and a reader question about the anxiety of waiting for appointments during your first trimester. (As a warning: this question and the comments may not be for everyone, especially those who have experienced pregnancy loss.)
—Deep Breaths Aren’t Cutting It
When my baby turned 2, I suddenly realized how deeply I wanted another child. My husband and I started trying again, and a year and a half later, no baby. We’re looking into fertility options now, and we found out my egg count is quite low. There’s no reason to feel totally hopeless; modern science is amazing, and there are things we can try. And yet… I do feel hopeless. My parents are in their 70s, my child is 3.5, I’m in my late 30s. I feel this enormous pressure (even though no one is pressuring me) and like I’m just running out of time. Even the gap between my kid and eventual (I hope) kid is stressing me out. Rationally, I don’t think that matters at all. And yet.
My 8-month-old is (all of a sudden) having a hard time at the child care center at our local gym. For the first time ever, I got pulled out of the pool because she was having a meltdown. I was freaking out and feeling like a terrible mom (how selfish of me to leave my baby in there all alone just so I could go for a swim!). I was rushing to change into dry clothes when two other moms popped out of nowhere in the locker room to console me with sweet and hilarious stories of when the same thing happened to them. They reminded me it’s okay, that taking time for yourself is important for your mental health, and that you’re still a good mom even if your kid is having a hard day. I took my daughter back again the next day, and she did amazing, didn’t cry at all, and had a great time!
“Tomorrow clothes” for the win*
Like many parents of preschoolers, I dread every school morning. My 3.5-year-old has three things to do: brush teeth, go pee, get dressed. But these three things became a massive fight in my house every morning. So one night I decided to make my life easier and had her pick out her clothes for school tomorrow and put them on. To sleep in. Like, no PJs. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I feel like I’ve hacked preschool! She wakes up every morning with 33% of the things she needs to do completed. It’s made mornings one-third smoother!
*In case you missed it, we shared a reader hack this fall about dressing your kid in “tomorrow clothes” at bedtime that broke the internet!
Show and tell
What have you found in your pocket lately? Another winner by Rachel Deutsch (@weirdmomart).
This week’s reader question
I’m 16 weeks pregnant after a very long road with IVF and really struggling with the amount of time between OB appointments, when I have no way to tell how the little guy is doing. I’m particularly struggling because I have multiple friends who found out there was no heartbeat at their 20-week appointment, and am terrified this is going to happen to us as well. I saw the reference to at-home fetal Doppler in Expecting Better, and I looked into it, but all the medical websites, doctors, etc. have been very negative about it. The general response I get from medical practitioners when I ask about this is just that I need to worry less and “enjoy the moment regardless of the outcome of the pregnancy.” Would love to know others’ experiences with fetal Doppler or other strategies people have used to cope with the uncertainty during this time!